Moving to London for university is often a daunting prospect, but moving to one of the capital’s outer boroughs may perhaps be even more daunting still if you don’t know what’s around.
If you’re just starting a part-time degree at GSM London at the state-of-the-art Greenford campus, then you may want to know a bit more about the local area of Ealing. From fantastic festivals in the summer to a regular farmers’ market, there is plenty to help you settle into student life in Ealing and Greenford – the bustling borough without the crowds of the city centre.
Ealing Summer Festivals
What better way is there to immerse yourself in new surrounding or to get to know your local area than with a festival? Ealing Summer Festivals cover seven events ranging from Ealing Jazz Festival to the Greenford Carnival, with plenty to be enjoyed by families and students alike. So whether you want to enjoy a local festival experience with your friends and housemates or show your family a bit of the local atmosphere, be sure to see the Ealing Summer Festivals calendar ahead of the summer break.
Ealing Beer Festival
A part of this fantastic programme is Ealing Beer Festival, which is run by the West Middlesex branch of Campaign for Real Ale. Popular with families and students alike, this festival offers up over 300 varieties of real ale from all over the country and sees tens of thousands of visitors every year. In addition to this impressive festival, the organisers also put on the Heathrow Beer Festival, which takes place in November and is just one bus ride on the 105 from Greenford Station. Who knows, you could even learn some valuable information for your London events management degree.
Entertainment Venues and Museums
Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery
For a bit of added culture on your doorstep, try a visit at Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing’s flagship cultural venue. Entry is free and it offers a great insight into the local area having been designed (and once owned) by architect and Bank of England surveyor Sir John Soane.
The manor is a Grade I-listed house and the adjacent gallery was opened in 1996, which houses impressive regular exhibitions and works by both UK and international artists. See their website for more information.
The next point of interest in Ealing is perhaps one of London’s most famous icons: Wembley Stadium. Opened in 2007, the new 90,000 capacity venue is now home to the FA Cup Final and the England national football team home matches, making it one of the most significant sporting venues in the country.
In addition to football, the stadium also plays host to other major sporting events including NFL International Series games and the North London Half Marathon. If you’re a music fan, then the likes of Eminem and One Direction have performed at Wembley this year, but check out Wembley Arena for more music and comedy events (yes, Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena are two different places! Although they are next door to each other).
The SSE Arena Wembley
Hello Wembley! Next to Wembley Stadium there is another world-renowned entertainment venue, that being The SSE Arena Wembley.
Sat right next door, this iconic 12,500 capacity venue stands as London’s second largest indoor arena after The O2 Arena. The arena is known for its incredible performances and playing host to some of the most famed performers in the world, including the likes of The Beatles, ABBA and Tina Turner, and, coming soon – acts like John Bishop, All Time Low and Slipknot.
In addition to these great acts the arena has also recently reopened with state-of-the-art facilities, including a number of bars and food outlets.
For more to see and get involved in, Questors Theatre is a fantastic local venue. As one of the largest amateur theatres in Europe, it offers its members a wide range of activities and social events, which is perfect for the newly moved student. Putting on around 20 shows a year, as well as a variety of workshops and courses, it is a fantastic local community to get involved in.
The London Motorcycle Museum
London museums are known for being among the best in the country and even Ealing boasts its own renowned historic venue. The London Motorcycle Museum based in Greenford has around 170 machines on display, with many of their models appearing in shows and exhibitions across the country every year too. Petrol heads starting study in Ealing may have found a home away from home here.
Ealing Farmers’ Market
Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you have to eat like one! Next to the great cooking tips provided on the GSM London blog, you can also enjoy tasty fresh produce thanks to Ealing Farmers’ Market. Held every Saturday between 9am and 1pm, the market offers fresh farm produce on Leeland Road, meaning you can get your taste of the country in the Capital!
Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre
London may be known for its shopping, but as any Londoner will know, Oxford Street is to be avoided on a Saturday. For great shopping without the crowds and queues, students in Ealing have the great Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre on their doorstep. With regular events and even a student-focused event due to take place in 2015, there is always something going on. To stay in the loop and to receive information on the discounts, offers, events and competitions they run, be sure to sign up to their monthly newsletter (check out their homepage).
These are just a few of the great things you can enjoy as a Greenford and Ealing resident – be sure to do a bit of your own research too and share it with your course mates on the GSM London Facebook page. Greenwich based? Check out our guide to Greenwich living for everything you need to know about living in a top City maritime location.
Image Credits: Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, Wembley Stadium, West Middlesex CAMRA, Ealing Council, Wembley Arena Drew Stewart, Ealing Farmers’ Market
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.